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Your Opinion On My Plan to Get My PPL?

Posted By:
Craig Maiman
6
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0
#1 Posted: 5/28/2010 07:52:11

Hi All,

I'd appreciate your input on my plan to get my PPL.  What I'd like to do is build a plane (Just Aircraft Highlander (tail wheel)) and then learn in that plane.

My question is how hard will it be find a test pilot in my area (MA outside of Boston) to fly off the initial test hours (and what does a test pilot cost?)?  And also how hard do you think it would be to find a CFI that would teach in the Highlander?

I also have thought of just getting my PPL before at a local flight school with their planes, but that would cost more, it wouldn't be in the plane I want to fly and I'd get pretty rusty not flying so much while I take the time to build the plane (roughly a year).

Thoughts?

Thanks!

Craig

 



Bob Meder
NAFI MemberAirVenture Volunteer
223
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87
#2 Posted: 5/31/2010 23:14:39

First, I can't speak to the test pilot question - some of the local EAA'ers up there will have to do that.

Theoretically, you can build your own airplane and get your pilot certificate in it (there is no "license" in the United States),  but there are a couple of issues:

1)  Finding a CFI that would be willing to instruct in your aircraft.  I've trained people (not for the private certificate) in home-built aircraft, but a lot of CFI's won't.  In my own case, I have to know the person that built the airplane pretty well before I'll give instruction in it.  There's also the issue of the CFI knowing the airplane and it's foibles.  One reason that I haven't trained new students in their own homebuilt is that there's no one that can fly with me to show me what the airplane will do - those times I've flown with people in homebuilts it's been with certificated pilots with a fair amount of experience and they can show me the basics of how the airplane flies.

2)  Finding a DPE or FAA inspector to give you the check ride.  I think (although I could very well be wrong) that FAA policy doesn't allow inspectors to give practical tests in experimental aircraft.  And designated pilot examiners might well have the same issues I described in my first point.

Neither of theses is insurmountable, but I just wanted to give you an idea of what you might be up against.

You are smart regarding the issue of taking time off from flying while building the aircraft.  I've given flight reviews to pilots that have taken a couple of years off to work on a project, and those are not slam-dunk sessions.  Often, those take a couple of sessions to knock off the rust.  The good news is that it usually isn't much more than a couple of sessions.



Bob Meder "Anxiety is nature's way of telling you that you already goofed up."
Craig Maiman
6
Posts
0
#3 Posted: 6/1/2010 10:02:30

Hi Bob,

Thanks for the reply.  The more I've researched this, the more I've come to the same conclusion as what you state.  Get my certificate now with a local school in their C172 with G1000 (because that's what I'd want to rent when I want 4 seats anyway), start building the plane and meanwhile try to keep current.  I'll also need to get my tailwheel endorsement before flying my Highlander, of course.

Thanks,

Craig



C Glenn Brown
Homebuilder or Craftsman
3
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0
#4 Posted: 6/28/2010 18:41:54

Here's another problem with using a plane you built.  I'm having the same "problem".  If it's an experimental, it must fly Phase I flights of at least 20 hours, testing it, before it can carry the second person in it.  That's with a certified engine, such as Lycoming, Continental, etc.  If it's a non-certified engine (modified VW engine, etc. ), than it must fly 40 hours.  It is also restricted to a small and predetermined (and approved) flight area during that time, also.  If you're going to build a Cessna 172, maybe avoid those problems.



Andrew Ovans
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerAirVenture Volunteer
133
Posts
39
#5 Posted: 6/29/2010 16:59:48

Unless you are building a homebuilt with G1000, I would look for a school with older Hawks. Also, we just became a Cessna Pilot Center and I must admit the King / Cessna online ground school is going to save you a bunch of money in the end.

I am very impressed with the way Cessna is doing training now a days.

Look for a CPC in your area and check it out, it should cut out alot of ground work with an instructor.



www.tailwindflightcenter.com Flightline Aeronautics LLC
Andrew Ovans
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerAirVenture Volunteer
133
Posts
39
#6 Posted: 6/29/2010 17:01:51

Come to think of it, try and find a school that has some form of tailwheel aircraft. You will find the training more rewarding when you transition to your tailwheel homebuilt.



www.tailwindflightcenter.com Flightline Aeronautics LLC
Craig Maiman
6
Posts
0
#7 Posted: 6/29/2010 19:59:10

Thanks guys.  After getting a lot of input from various CFI's, and this thread, etc.  It seems like the best thing would be to get my PP cert. first and then build the plane.  And there's a good Cessna school not far from me (Executive Flyers, which is owned by the Red Bull pilot Michael Goulian) and they have G1000 172's.

I'll just try to keep up my proficiency while I'm building.

Thanks!

Craig




Bill Greenwood
Warbirds of America MemberYoung Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
121
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#8 Posted: 6/29/2010 21:08:30

Using the organized King ground school with the interactive computer disk will save you much time and money. You don't need to pay a CFI to do the book learning. If there are any group classes offered they can also be enjoyable and have the  group support. The Sporty's or Cessna program is good also, but not interactive.

A Cessna 172 is easy to learn in, but it is pretty basic/ boring compared to most other planes. Since you are going to pay the rental money anyway, why not see if there is something like a Citabria or Decathlon or Cub,, something that would be more fun while you are learning. And if you start in a tailwheel plane, you don't later have to pay for another endorsement.

That said, your time and effort put in, plus the quality of the CFI that you get is more important than the type plane.

good luck, enjoy it. Bill



Craig Maiman
6
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0
#9 Posted: 6/30/2010 09:53:35

Yes, I'd actually prefer to use the Kings course and/or Rod Machado's book (maybe both because I like to get multiple points of view to cement it in my head...).

I actually spoke to Rod at Oshkosh last year and he said that if I'm comfortable with aviation terminology (I certainly am) that it would be better to study for and pass the written test before even starting lessons.  Makes sense to me.

Are flight schools (both types) ok with a student walking with the written already done and bypassing their maybe preferred written prep materials?  For instance Executive Flyers has their whole Cessna pilot kit they're ready to sell to the student.  Seems that maybe their syllabus is based on the Cessna materials?

I suppose I could call and ask...

Over-thinking this as usual... ;-)

Craig

P.S.  It would probably be more fun to learn in a tail-dragger (and saving the endorsement later too).




Bill Greenwood
Warbirds of America MemberYoung Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
121
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#10 Posted: 6/30/2010 13:44:45

Nothing wrong with doing the whole written before doing the flying. The only drawback is you might be more excited with the stimulus of flying .If you get the written done, the flying will be easy and fun.You don't have to do it all first though,you can lead with the ground school and go along with the flying also.

Some guys make the mistake of doing all the flying and get way behind on the written, or they slop off on the written stuff. It is not that hard, some of it is pretty interesting and there is no reason not to make in the 90s. Whatever you miss may be what the oral part of the PPL flight test will emphasize. It is not hard to learn it the first time, they give you ALL the questions verbatim, you just  have to cover them.

I am not sure about the Cessna course, it is likely good. Is it from King?

The best course is the top King one. I think it it about $295. It not only has books, but the real KEY thing is the INTERACTIIVE  computer disk. You do the lesson on your computer, you study, take the practice questions right there, it is graded right then and there and you get the explantions and correct answers to any you missed right there. A great time saver, and keeps your interest,and will save money in the long run.

King has also regular video courses as does Sporty's, about $200. I think the interactive part is well worth the money and I am nto a computer geek.

I think a sharp and dedicated person could do the ground school course in a few weeks if they put in perhaps 3 to 4  hours a day. You can probably do about one section or chapter in a day or two.

There will be a video or book on what to know BEFORE you go in the airplane to try a procedure. It is vital to know most of this before you get in the plane, to save a lot of money. You don't want to be paying a CFI and for a rental plane time, perhaps $90,  just to explain something you could have learned most of at home for free. An example is practicing stalls and recovery. You can learn the cause of a stall ,( too much angle of attack makes not enough wind over the  wings to lift), the warning signs (horn, sloppy controls, buffet etc.), and recovery ( release back pressure)., before you pay a penny for CFI or plane. Some CFIs are real concientious to teach you before each flight, but the school and the CFI make there money when that engine is running, so they are motivated that way.

The Machado book seem ok, the red Gleim ones, or Jepp are good too. I thnk either video course is easier and faster than any book alone. If money is real tight, you might see if a past student has a course to sell you or if there is one at the libraby.

Just get started, go do it. If you are serious and  want to call me to talk about this, some evening, I am in 411 info. Bill Greenwood , Aspen, Co.



Andrew Ovans
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerAirVenture Volunteer
133
Posts
39
#11 Posted: 7/1/2010 22:34:50

The new Cessna course is a collaboration between John and Martha King and Cessna. It is %100 online, no CD's or DVD's to worry about, no books to buy. The neat thing is your CFI can also log into the system and check your progress as you move along. I know if my students completed the lesson, it tells me so. Through the old video collection, you still had to verify with the student they got something out of it. After each online lesson, they have a quiz and it is all tracked in the student profile. You can't jump ahead until you have completed the lesson. In each lesson, you have videos and diagrams and other various methods to teach the student and it is WELL done. This is the next generation King product here, NOT the old vidoes.  

The course is through Cessna Pilot Centers and is flown in Cessna aircraft so yes the material is Cessna based learning.

I am willing to bet this will cut ALOT of ground time out of training. I know Mike puts out quality product, I was merely suggesting a cheaper Skyhawk alternative. The G1000 does little for you if your homebuilt isn't going to be equipped similar. The rental costs of an older hawk to a new G1000 bird CAN be quite different, just a thought.

You won't be disappointed with the Cessna course, or Mike.....

Good Luck



www.tailwindflightcenter.com Flightline Aeronautics LLC
Craig Maiman
6
Posts
0
#12 Posted: 7/2/2010 18:36:30

So I assume that if I go with the Cessna course approach that I would not do the Knowledge test before training, but during ,at direction of the instructor.  True?

Maybe they would be ok though with me completing that portion before hand.  And, I could ask..


happy



Andrew Ovans
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerAirVenture Volunteer
133
Posts
39
#13 Posted: 7/7/2010 19:44:12

Since the training is in phases I am not sure yet as to where the written plays out. I will find out.



www.tailwindflightcenter.com Flightline Aeronautics LLC